It's about time to start hitting that base, boys and girls. If you don't happen to have the Sweet blender hook up featured in our photo here, may we strongly recommend checking out the CycleOps site for some equally invigorating trainer workouts -- just make the smoothies ahead of time, then hop on the horse with free threshold, aerobic and anaerobic workouts designed by the kings and queens of killowatts.
Click here to get moving now!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
By: Iron Wil
My Wii Epiphany
In between baking batches of gingerbread men this morning, I was cajoled into taking at whack at our Wii Fit balancing act game with my eight-year-old son. Of course, before I could trip the tightrope fantastic, I had to create a "Mii" -- a little cartoon avatar of myself -- which I did, and it was fun. I couldn't get to the tightrope game until I went through all the body test/baseline hoo-ha, however -- enter your height, weight, stand like this, balance like that --which I did, and I'll have you know, it was not so fun.
Honestly, I really should have taken the doctor up on her offer to give me epi pins for my milk allergy the other day, as I really could have used one when the freaky little animated Wii board told me my body was "virtually 47 years old," then tried to console me in its little Wii way by saying, "But hey, Geezer McOldness, that's only 11 years more than what you actually are!" I mean come on, does that work in Japan?
Anyway, after watching myself crumple over and pork out in calamitous Wii caricature, finally, I was allowed to play.
Now, I don't know exactly when it happened, but somewhere between the crumpling "Mii" and the surprised little "Oh!" reaction of the Wii fit platform as I stepped on it to start my first game, I found I was not at all capable of just playing the stupid thing. No, I was not going to get off that little platform until I'd found a way to dominate the balancing act -- a venue, it occurred to me, that I used to rock most righteously not too long ago.
And that's what it all came down to just then... getting back in the mix with training while still managing to cart kids to their 4,000 practices each week, fold laundry, write, work full-time, etc., etc. Honestly, I was wondering exactly how I was going to pull it off this time, what, with this Cleveland marathon looming in the distance, but once I registered, it all fell into place. Old friends came out of the woodwork with support, and I was out of the gate! Now I'm excited to hit the ground running - literally - next week with bona fide marathon training again... it's been way too long.
So anyway, thanks, rude little animated Wii platform dude; it's on like Donkey Kong.
Posted at 11:56 AM
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Why YES, that was Rural Girl you saw chatting it up with Kathleen Allen, the featured mom of four on this year's Kona coverage. Rewind that DVR and check out the strong stride and brimming sense of camaraderie that brought this Midwestern gal 140.6 miles across the big island.
Way to go, Rural Girl!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
This one symbolic act distills everything that I have come to love about cyclocross racing. I'm actually not being sarcastic here. When I thought about it some more, this whole attitude of laying it on the line during a race, but never taking yourself too seriously really resonates with me. I have seen one cyclist punch another after the finish of a road bike race where he perceived the other guy to have made a bad move that caused him to crash. I've seen top age group triathletes content to sit in big draft packs for most of an Ironman race. I've known runners that went to psychologists because their heads got so messed up on race day. Cyclocross has become my antidote to all this silliness. Sport should be challenging and there is great value in exploring our physical limits, but it should also be fun.
Driving back home from Jingle Cross Rock I declared that it was my favorite race, of any type, anywhere. Even among excentric cross races Jingle Cross stands out. You really have to go to experience it, but I'm going to try and capture some of the awesomeness that is Jingle Cross here.
Triathletes have been known to traverse the country seeking the next PR course. Flat, straight courses are valued for their potential to shave off a few seconds or minutes. At the opposite extreme, no two cyclocross courses are alike and none are straight! A race may be held in a flat, grassy, park, but the construction of the corners and barriers always adds a degree of difficulty. Jingle Cross Rock is held on some county fairgrounds near Iowa City, which may conjure up images of flat cornfields. Actually, there is only one hill at Jingle Cross, but Mt. Krumpit is a beast and the course designers use it for all it worth.
|Mt. Krumpit from below. This is a descent.|
Another unique element of Jingle Cross is that they route the bike course through some of the barns on the course. One of these, dubbed the Grinch's Lair, goes through some loose, deep sand in one of the barns.
|Me bombing through the sand in the Grinch's Lair (it's deeper than it looks!)|
To keep things festive, there is Christmas music and lights. Another part of the course forces riders to weave in and out of animal stalls in another one of the barns. Pure. Genius.
New to the race this year was a "flyover". These structures are becoming more common in cross races. They consist of a set of stairs on one side and then a steep ramp down the other side. Here's a pic of the ramp side of the flyover at Jingle Cross. Later the course loops back under the same structure.
Sunday morning was cold and clear again, although it would warm up quite a bit before the day was over. I had survived two days without any significant damage to my person and was excited about day #3. The Sunday morning course had quite a bit of frost on all the corners making things a little sketchy. My poor starting position really caught up with me on Sunday. A big pile up in the first two minutes of racing meant I got stuck way behind as the leaders rode away. There was also a short, but really steep hill that I practiced riding during warm-up. Unfortunately, riders in front of me tried it and failed leading to a pile up that I got mixed up in.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I have coaxed countless friends, coworkers, and family members to the starting lines of running races, dus, and tris. For me, one of the highlights of this summer was seeing my brother finish his first sprint triathlon. Below, I've compiled a list of steps I usually take when bringing someone new into the sport.
Choose your target. You probably already know who it is. It could be the coworker who keeps saying they'd like to try a triathlon "someday." It could be your mom who has started jogging a little; a 5K race could be just the incentive she needs to keep up the great work. It could be your brother who just graduated from high school or college who misses playing team sports and is looking for a way to stay in shape. It could also be your running buddy who just bought a bike for cross training purposes and has never heard of a duathlon. Remember, you don't have to pick just one target. The more the better!
Plant the seed. Once you know who you'd like to recruit, just bring it up! I usually like to mention it in the context of, "Have you ever thought of..." or "I know of this race that I think you could really like." I try hard not to push it. If the person doesn't seem interested or if they express that the timing or other circumstances just aren't right, I may bring it up once later but then let them just think about it. It's surprising how many times they will decide to do it on their own once the seed's been planted.
Pick a race. It's often best to pick a beginner friendly race that's not completely full of bike porn and type A personalities. Help them pick a race that fits in with the time frame they have to train in a location that doesn't require a lot of time and money to get to. Although some people are really drawn to destination races, I believe that it's best to stay close to home for the first couple.
Help them obtain the equipment they will need. Another great reason to start this process early is that training and racing can be expensive! A first-timer doesn't need a 5000 dollar bike or a 400 dollar wetsuit. You know by now what is necessary for a race (goggles, a bike, a helmet, and running shoes). If they want and can afford more, great. I have had many friends and family who have biked their first races on 10 year-old mountain bikes in running shorts. I did my first tri in just a swimming suit. It's really intimidating at first to sift through all of the "must-haves," and your experience will be invaluable.
Facilitate their training. Your new recruit may already be a type A personality who has decided to research and make up a training program equipped with base, build, and recovery weeks. More than likely, you will need to help them design a regimen that's not intimidating and is feasible and accounts for their lifestyle.
Encourage, encourage, encourage. Check in. See how the training is going. Ask them what they are nervous about. Offer to do a workout with them. Let them know that they can ask you questions anytime. It is so rewarding to be able to see someone working toward a goal.
Prepare them for race day. Make sure they have a nutrition plan (what they will eat for breakfast, race-day nutrition if needed, etc). They may want to run their list of stuff to bring by you. Lend them equipment or clothes if necessary. Ensure they know how to set up their transition area and when they will pick up their packet. Let them know what to expect in terms of the feel of the race (competitive vs beginner-friendly), the structure of the race (time trial vs wave start, whether there are other distances racing, etc), the course, the aid stations, and the after party.
Be there on race day. Whether you are racing that day too or are just going to cheer, join your new recruit on race day! Be there to answer any questions, help calm their nerves, and scream your head off as they near the finish. I still get choked up every time I help another person to a first finish line.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Michelle sat down with JP to follow up on his Ironman World Championship qualifying race in Florida.
In it, JP takes us through his race in tremendous detail on how he brought his race back from the brink of disaster and disappointment to make an improbable comeback and chase after his former Spartan teammates. Learn how he kept his cool and how he used what he learned from his idol Chris McCormack from this year's world championship to his advantage.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Our youngest teammate, John Paul Severin took a little heat to Florida with him today, crossing the IMFL finish line in a wicked fast 9:24:33!
His sick split times include a 56:38 swim time, 4:52:07 on the bike, and a simply ridiculous 3:29.11 marathon.
The boy is a machine, having spanked his age group with his 3rd place rank, not to mention finishing in the top 60 overall!
Way to represent, John Paul! Rest up and know you owned it.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Continuing on with the 'things that stand out in my mind' train of thought....
-It took me a whole week to figure out why the T2 changing tent volunteer told me not to lock the door when I went into the porta-potty.
It's so they can get your ass out if you pass out! Like I said in my last post, the bike ride about did me in. It was tough physically, but probably more so mentally. When I got to the changing tent, I was parked onto a chair and the volunteer dressed me like I was a 2 month-old. Then another one slathered me with sunscreen since my arms felt like they were ON FIRE. On my way out I figured I should make a stop to potty as I knew this would be it until it was all over. Either I looked THAT bad or she said that to everyone, I don't know. But, I felt flattered that she was so concerned about me! No, I didn't keel over in there (that would've been COMPLETELY disgusting). I did what needed to be done and got on my way.
-It's a miracle what 2 extra minutes in transition will do for you!
When I got onto the run course, I was amazed to find that I was feeling pretty good! When in doubt, take a little more time in transition. Hallelujah! Needless to say the first 10 miles are through Kona and there is crowd support everywhere. This makes all the difference in the world too. Once I got going I was pleased to find that my legs were not trashed and my gut wasn't sloshy and pukey.
There are no spectators other than the awesome volunteers at the aid stations. It's you and the lava fields and the guy next to you running. And you're do damned tired, you're not talking to anyone. I just kept focusing one more mile up the road. 'Just get to the next aid station. Just get to the next aid station.'
Yes, I knew I would feel satisfaction. But other emotions were more apparent.
Respect. Humility. Pride.
I have a huge level of respect for people who come out to this race and execute their race plans flawlessly. More than I could have imagined. It is not easy. The elements and the level of competition are fierce and do take their toll both physically and mentally.
I am humbled to have been able to be a part of this. I've been telling myself that this was the best ass-kickin' I've ever had. Honestly. It was handed to me. In retrospect, that's OK. I am blessed and lucky to have the physical ability and support of my family, friends, sponsors, and coach to get the job done. I still can't believe I was able to be lumped in with this group of stellar athletes.
Lastly, I'm proud. I swear to you, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be in this place. Yes, as time progressed, the desire built and along with that the fitness and ability came. But, it was hard work that made it happen and I'm proud of myself for I succeeding.
"Michelle Brost, you are an IRONMAN!"
Posted at 10:04 AM
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Michelle and RobbyB sat down with Evotri's own honey lover, Pooh Bear JP Severin as he prepares for his race at Ironman Florida this weekend. Topics included his preparation for his second Ironman, this year's racing results, his hard core training, life in California, how he plans to crush Ironman Florida, and of course, The Lightening Round!
Be sure to track JP on Saturday at Ironmanlive.com. He's bib #199.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Never, ever have I done this before. But, some guy (and I'm assuming it was a guy because 73% of the field were men and I couldn't feel fabric on the chest) was climbing all over me. I mean he was literally on my butt a few times. Get off! I pulled the old mule kick number. I bet up my knee and launched a kick as hard and fast as I could landing it right in this person's chest. I mean really, is repeatedly swimming on top of someone necessary? Get off! That was the end of him. Thankfully.
-1:22 swim is NOT good.
No sugar-coating this. That pretty much sucks. What is one of the top priorities for the winter? Get this swim straightened out!
If anyone ever questions where they should volunteer or where they feel their impact will be most felt, I can tell you in all certainty it's the changing tent. After I did a complete clothing change with my volunteer's help, I went to the potty in the tent. This was not a "pee on the bike" day.
I started the bike ride feeling good and solid. I was conscientously trying to keep my wattage down. I had been told by coach that the course was mind-numbing. I was trying to prepare myself for the psychological battle I knew things would turn out to be. All that said, I wanted this to be a race. I wanted to go hard and pass a few people! The bike is usually a strength for me and I typically have good feelings about it.
-Another goal is to toughen up my mind when the going gets physically tough on the bike.
I've lost something here over time. I need to learn to deal with hurt better and learn to run following that hurt.
That's it for now. I'll finish this story in a few days. Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Whew! Time to get something down on paper about this most epic adventure!
I just completed the Ironman World Championship race in Kona, Hawaii 10/9/10 and came back to north central WI Wednesday afternoon. The leaves are off the trees and everything is brown and all Wisconsin-like. Those of you from WI know exactly what I mean; somewhere between winter and summer. Yes, that's fall I realize. But yucky to me. A far cry from the niceties of Hawaii.
I have no idea how I'm going to break this experience up into manageable posts. So, please, bear with me because I'm sure there will be a lot of rambling!
I think the things that really struck me the most were the people and the atmosphere. Electric. That is the best word I can use to describe it. Yes, the scenery was beautiful. The bike porn was hot. The food was great. But, it was the people and the energy about the race that will stick with me forever.
On the trip out, we knew we'd be traveling with tons of Ironman geeks. I met a professional photographer who LOVED name dropping and letting us know what pros he would be focusing on. It was funny because there is always someone you see over and over on a trip like this and he was the guy! And, no, he wasn't real excited about taking my pic!! I also met a gentleman named Phillipe (probably screwed up the spelling). He was from LA. He wasn't a racer and he did not have an athlete he was going with. He had done an Ironman several years ago and just loved the sport. He recently had knee surgery. Basically, he always wanted to go to Kona for the race and was looking to get back into the sport. How nice it was that I got to see him out on the run course twice and on the plane ride home! People like that were everywhere. They just love Ironman!
I've got to give a huge shout-out to the Wisconsin folks; Kim Basala, and Mike and Jenny Wimmer. I saw you guys out there and it truly warmed my heart. I don't know you very well. But you're my home state people. To have your support means a lot!
My personal peeps were the best! I'm probably not the funnest person to be around the few days leading up to a big race. I tend to get quiet and withdrawn. I don't want to talk about it and I have a lot of nervous energy. To put up with me was a challenge. Plus, the few days before IM is full of IM activities; expo, registration, pre-race banquet, bike racking, and workouts. This cut into their fun and I am grateful for their patience. You guys are the BEST!
I lump the racers in this category because they are the driving force behind what makes the atmosphere the atmosphere. Anyone who's done an Ironman or somehow participated in an Ironman either volunteering or spectating knows that the level of fitness at these events is great. Now take that level and ratchet it up X 10! That's what it felt like. The men were tan, slick, and lean. No complaints from me there! The women were impressive to say the least. Body fat? What's that? I saw women in the 50-54 age group on the podium post-race who I dream of looking like. I suppose a lot of this was generated in my head and of my own insecurities but I kept looking at myself and thinking 'what are you doing here? you do NOT look like these people! you look like a good-old WI dairy queen.' And intense! My sister kept saying that she wanted "to feed these people a cheese burger". They all looked pretty focused and it seemed clear they were there with a job to complete.
The event itself is extremely well-organized. This also contributes to the overall great feel of the race. The expo was like a triathlon North Pole; a place to go and see all the toys you can only dream of all in one spot. Of course, the most fabulous of fabulous were there including Headsweats, 2XU, Specialized, CycleOps, SRAM, and Zipp. The pre-race and post-race awards banquets are also top notch. The food was actually good and had some local flavor. There were luau dancers and fire twirlers, Hawaiian music and drum lines. Mike Reilly is, of course, the announcer and he really does an awesome job. If you weren't pumped to race before, Reilly definitely has you ready to go. If you thought your day was less than spectacular, Reilly makes you feel like a rock star after.
People love this race. Ironman athletes, supporters, volunteers....everyone. This is the big dance and it shows. I have more respect and admiration for the race now that I've done it than before when I only dreamed about doing it. Now I know why people want to keep coming back again and again and again.....
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Once again, JP sat down with Michelle to talk Kona. This time, it was to go over her race in the Ironman World Championships. Michelle talks about the atomosphere, fitting in, what it took to finish, and what's next on her never end plate of endurance athletics.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Gabe's Book Bike Project originally crossed my radar when I saw this YouYube Video:
I forwarded the video to some of my library colleagues and Karen Schmidt, our library director, jumped on the concept and started making plans to bring a book bike to Bloomington. Karen is on the Bloomington City Council and part of the West Bloomington Revitalization Project (WBRP). The Book Bike supports several parts of the WBRP strategic plan, including education, engagement with youth, and greening initiatives.
|Opened up, the bookcase looks something like this (photo is of Gabe's bike)|
Posted at 9:13 PM
Monday, October 11, 2010
On Saturday, October 9, Team Evotri's Rural Girl, heard those words that every aspiring Ironman triathlete hopes to hear, "You are an Ironman!" Except that she heard them on Ali'i drive while finishing the 2010 Ford Ironman World Championship! She sported a huge smile flashing shakas with both hands as she crossed the line.
Michelle enjoyed the beautiful swim, conquered the challenging winds and heat on the bike course, and cruised through the run in for a 12:06:05 finish. Reflecting on her race she said, "that's the hardest Ironman race ever!" noting that winds were so strong on the bike, that she witnessed athletes falling from being blown off course. And the heat was so strong, she felt that her skin was going to start boiling! She was able to bring herself back together on the run, especially enjoying the crowd support on Ali'i drive, even though she worked it all the way to the line, not allowing another female competitor to beat her; Michelle's way of having fun!
After an excellent year finishing two Ironman races, two half-iron distances, several snowshoe races, and all the ups and downs that goes with training, she's welcoming some time off before she readies herself for the 2011 Team Evotri race, the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis, MN.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Listen in as JP takes his outstanding interview style live as he interviews Team Evotri's Michelle (aka Rural Girl) as she gets ready for the World Ironman Championship in Kona, HI. (She's bib #1153, in case you want to track her.)
- Michelle's IM Lake Placid Race Review
- Special "training" Michelle has included prepping for her time in Hawaii
- Lightening Round!
Best of luck to Michelle and all the Kona-bound athletes this weekend!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I don't know about you, but I LOVE fall training. Here in the Midwest, it is absolutely my favorite season to train. Low humidity, sunny skies, and a little bit of a chill in the air...perfect!
I also love to use the Crock Pot in the fall. I'm a firm believer that the crock pot is a busy triathlete's best friend. With a little know-how, you can whip up a fabulous meal that's healthy and all ready for you when you come in the door from a nice, fall, post-work run! It just doesn't get better than that.
My friend Laura has this amazing recipe that she threw together for black bean and sweet potato chili. It is so fabulous, that I'm going to name it after her. It will hereby be called Speedy Laura's Chili. Because this girl is FAST. She's pretty much my running mommy idol. Throw this together and you'll be amazed, too! I just wish it could make me run crazy fast like Laura, but I'll settle for some tasty grub for now.
Speedy Laura's Chili
2 x-large sweet potatoes chopped (if you only have smaller ones then shoot for about a pound of sweet potatoes)
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
5 stalks of celery chopped
1.5 c dried black beans
1 c brown rice (we like it thick, but you can omit and serve cooked rice separately if you like it more soupy)
24 oz of strained tomatoes (I have also used 2 cans of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes)
3 c veggie broth
1 c water (may need to add more over the course of cooking--check periodically)
1 TBSP cumin (I like herbs and spices a lot, so I use a lot!)
1 TBSP coriander
1 TBSP oregano
Cayenne to taste (My little guy loves this so I back off a bit for him, but you could make it as spicy as you want!)
Salt to taste
Throw everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. And here's a secret: it's even better the second day! My husband the carnivore asked for some ground turkey thrown in, so I tried it--also fabulous, but I think I prefer it veggie-style.
This recipe is chock-full of tastiness AND is great for triathletes, too! The sweet potatoes and black beans are a great source of vitamins A, C, folate, protein, and fiber. So follow up a nice fall ride with a bowl of this Speedy Chili, and don't forget to pick up some crusty bread for dipping!
Happy fall training...and eating!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Evotri is excited to announce that the team will compete in next year's Life Time Fitness Triathlon tentatively scheduled for July 9, 2011 in the beautiful Lake Nokomis of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Local teammate Sarah (aka Pharmie) is excited to have the team race what was her first triathlon ever, "It's such a great event for both new triathletes and challenging enough for experienced triathletes. I'm looking forward to having the team enjoy all that the Twin Cities has to offer."
The Olympic distance race offers a time trial start for the over 3,500 age group atheletes and a significant purse for the professional triathletes competing in the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Series Race to the Toyota Cup.
Several Evotri team members have started to talk trash, providing much needed motivation for each other to focus on their winter training. The entire team laughed when Stu proclaimed, "I have never been so excited to pound Michelle and RobbyB into the ground in MN!!!!!" Either way, the team is looking forward getting together for some exiting racing and camaraderie.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Team Evotri ripped up the Rev3 Half course Sunday breaking personal records and gathering awards. JP led the way flying to a second place finish overall, with Sweet following close behind for sixth place, tops in his age group. Sara and Sarah both smashed their personal records breaking the six-hour barrier for the first time. And Michelle, fresh off her Kona-qualifying effort at Lake Placid nipped RobbyB at the finish by 39 seconds on her way to second place in her age group. Charlie and wife Lisa, all the way from Louisiana, ripped the course (and the roller coasters,) smiling the whole time. Stu was on hand covering the event live for Rev3 while Tracy, on the mend, helped cheer on the team to their great performances.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Well, the gang's all here in Sandusky, Ohio - the buoys are out, the chop is wild, and the coasters are high!
From the top of the sky wheel, the cold rainstorm looks far, far away, but it was only a few short hours before the rain really started coming down just like it did about this time of year in Madison, Wisconsin, 2006. Needless to say, this gave quite a chill to several members of Team Evotri, who raced or crewed Ironman that fateful day.
It's definitely about time to hit the sack for now, but be sure to tap into the live race feed from Rev3tri.com Sunday morning to cheer on the team!